Vivaldi Hurston Analysis

453 Words2 Pages

Hurston’s anecdotes of how she became colored support Steele’s argument on identity contingencies. In the beginning of Steele’s book Whistling Vivaldi, he depicts an experience he had during his childhood, when he began to recognize the existence of discrimination, “I have a memory of the first time I realized I was black. I learned that we ‘black’ kids couldn’t swim at the pool in our area park, except on Wednesday afternoons…We could be regular people but only in the middle of the week? This is how I became aware I was black. I didn’t know what being black meant, but I was getting the idea that it was a big deal,” (Steele 1-2). Here Steele displays an anticipated observation on how segregation was viewed during that time, and how people …show more content…

She starts off with a short story to demonstrate her childhood, “I remember the very day that I became colored. I lived in the little Negro town of Eatonville, Florida… The only white people I knew passed through the town going or coming from Orlando. But changes came…and I was sent to school in Jacksonville. I was not Zora of Orange County anymore, I was now a little colored girl,” (Hurston 784-85). In Here Hurston utilizes the story of her childhood to display her affection for her culture and her recognition of her color. Similar to Steele’s views at the beginning of his book, Hurston begins to see racism prevail. She knows that others around her think she should dislike herself based on her color, but she can’t be bothered. Throughout Whistling Vivaldi, Steele expresses to the reader that identity contingencies affect our everyday behavior and prolong larger societal problems. Steele’s definition is evident in Hurston’s text because her color only became an issue when she switched schools. Hurston views ‘being colored’ as something that does not truly connect with her racial identity, but as something forced on her by society (Hurston 784). When she later on moves to Jacksonville, she describes how her race became the central feature of her theoretical

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